Video Article

In Part 1 of his lecture on programming (i.e., putting together effective CrossFit training and workouts) in last month's video article, Dave Castro explained the proper application of the principles of variety and intensity, two out of three of the foundational pillars of CrossFit programming. This month he covers the third, functional movement.

The key identifier of what we consider functional movements is that they move large loads over long distances quickly. Exercises that meet this criterion provide the meat of CrossFit workouts you program. These movements can be typed into three broad categories:

  • weight lifting (external object control)
  • gymnastics (i.e. body control movements, including the all-important air squat and other calisthenics)
  • monostructural exercise (running, rowing, cycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.)

Dave and the audience work through what belongs in each of these categories and why. They also touch on scaled-up variations of some of the common moves that should not be forgotten when you program for more fit and sophisticated populations. Next month's excerpt from the lecture explains the usefulness of the three categories of movement both for programming individual CrossFit workouts and for fostering the development of athletes over time.

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2 Comments on “CrossFit Programming Part 2: The Movements”


wrote …

I just started CrossFit. I appreciate how Dave Castro concisely explained CrossFit's strategy (quickly move large loads over long distances) and grouped the movements into three categories. CF nullifies much of what I thought was good weight training (numerous isolated movements). The good thing is I can repurpose much of my home gym for CrossFit workouts and really start to get fit. Thank you.


wrote …

Mr. Statton made the comment stating CF nullifies much of what good weight training is supposed to be (isolated movements). There is substantial information in the training industry stating what normal human movement is: ground-based, multi-dimensional, multi-planer movement (read Kreighbaum and Barthels along with most Kinesiology and Biomechanics texts). While a good portion of trainees utilize isolated movements still, the concept of multi-joint movement is not a new concept. Bodybuilding has had a major influence on fitness/strength training; however, many strength coaches who aren't CF affiliated utilize and teach the same concepts. This wasn't created by CF - the CF principles were used by the former Soviet Union since the early 60's. General Physical Preparation is a major concept of the Soviets especially their weightlifters and athletes (read Medveydev). The Muscle Beach crowd dating back to the 30's, 40's, and 50's were the original CFers. CF has done an outstanding job in promoting these concepts, but many of us have been teaching/educating the general public for a number of decades on this very concept.

The "Globo-gym" crowd does need to utilize more normal human movements; however, single joint movements have their place IF trainers of all classifications would just learn how the human body functions accordingly AND where one needs to start. Program design shouldn't be copied - while one can use a training model, it must be utilized accordingly and only after a thorough analysis has been completed to identify movement/strength deficits that alter efficient and effective human movement patterns.

Bottom line: don't believe me - go do your own research and READ!! All of my lectures end with everone becoming "Cross-Educated" with as much information as possible. One organization does not have all the answers. Becoming adequatly educated (book wise and experience wise) is the only way one can assertain how to properly design a program for every INDIVIDUAL!!! Look at Fleck and Kraemer's flowchart - eventually every program becomes individualized for each person involved. It all starts with learning the science of strength training, peforming a detailed needs analysis, developing the day to day variables over time (periodization - general to specific especially if one is going to specialize), monitoring your progress with periodic testing THEN one can individualize the program based on the data collected on what you really need to work on. Only then can you make substantial progress and decrease your risk of injury...

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